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A Place for Growth - The Community Staple Offering Programs for All Residents

Located right on Sycamore Street in downtown Decatur, the Decatur Library is a treasure for our community and is not your everyday, average library. With vast event programming spanning from author talks to book clubs, we are so fortunate that our library offers extensive literary programming for both adults and children and has something for everyone in our community. 

The library hosts an adult’s crochet club, where local community members meet to crochet, chat, and learn new patterns while forging friendships, youth and adult book clubs, and weekly story times for babies-toddlers on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday mornings. The story times are a special space where caregivers and littles alike commune, sing, read, and play together.

Additionally, the library hosts other programs including Jewelry with Gin, Resistance Bands Exercise, Debt Clinic, Golden Classic Film Series, an Open Technology Lab, and Chess Club. While the library staff and its contractors lead storytimes, book discussions, and various other programs, they work with outside experts in the community to lead additional programming, like exercise groups, gaming, and more. With a holistic approach to community offerings, the library invites community members to apply as volunteer workshop presenters and share their knowledge with their neighbors through the library’s Skillshare program. 

A true space for the community, on a Thursday evening in February, in collaboration with the Georgia Center for the Book, I along with other local book lovers gathered for an impactful author talk with Sadeqa Johnson, the author of New York Times bestseller and Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club Pick “The House of Eve”. The event was moderated by Decatur resident and author Nicki Salcedo, who credited growing up with access to the Decatur Library as a very important part of her journey as a writer. Just like others in the crowd, which included the DeKalb Library Foundation Executive Director, Jill Joplin, I left with a revived interest in historical fiction and a copy of Johnson’s best-selling book, which was available for sale on-site via Decatur’s Charis Books & More. This kind of cross-support is so necessary for a community such as ours to continue to thrive and grow. 

The Georgia Center for the Book (GCB) operation (which books the author talks about) within the Decatur Library is one of its most popular and illustrious programs. The library executive team told us that the Cen­ter for the Book pro­gram has made DCPL the largest lit­er­ary pro­gram pre­sen­ter in the south­east­ern Unit­ed States, with over 100 author pro­grams cur­rent­ly being pre­sent­ed annu­al­ly. The Georgia Center for the Book’s mission is to support libraries, promote literacy and the literary arts, and preserve the literary heritage of Georgia. The Georgia Center for the Book is one of only four Center for the Book affiliates located in a public library in the US. 

The author events are truly top-notch programming and depend on author tour schedules, yet still occur every month. The best part? These inspiring events are free and open to the public. 

In April, there are currently two author talks scheduled. One on April 16th with author Ryan Britt, writer of “The Spice Must Flow,” and another the following day on April 17, featuring Brian Panowich, the author of “Nothing But The Bones.” 

For the Summer months of June and July, the library ushers in an even wider array of programs and events for everyone from the younger patrons to senior citizens during its Summer Reading program. This year, the theme for the program is “Adventure Begins at Your Library.” The Decatur librarians have been working on this year’s programming for months, and the full programming slate will be announced in May. 

The beautiful and historic building that houses all of these wonderful community programs is currently undergoing renovations to the bathroom, as part of the DeKalb County SPLOST 1(special local option sales tax) fund with the new modernized bathrooms re-opening this Spring.  

The mission of the library is to enlight­en and enrich­ the peo­ple of DeKalb Coun­ty by pro­vid­ing respon­sive, dynam­ic ser­vices that meet the chang­ing infor­ma­tion­al, edu­ca­tion­al, and recre­ation­al needs of a diverse population.

This month the DeKalb Library Foundation is raising money from community members to continue to support its vital library programming. If you would like to continue to see these amazing programs offered in our community or to get involved, learn more, or donate to the Decatur library, you can do so online at 

The best part? These inspiring events are free and open to the public.